Barrick Gold has made a significant new gold discovery, known as Alturas, in the Andean region of Chile approximately 30 km south of the former El Indio mine. The discovery is part of a large mineralized system that extends well beyond the limits of the current drilling area. To date, 35 core holes have been completed in a 1-km2 area. Mineralization appears to be oxide in nature and geologically similar to Barrick’s Veladero mine in San Juan province, Argentina, with the potential to be of significantly higher grade.

Intercepts have been thick, typically ranging from 50 to 150 m, and continuous. Significant intercepts have included 97 m grading 4.4 g/mt, 103.5 m grading 1.64 g/mt, and 170 m grading 2.76 g/mt.

Barrick controls almost all of the prospective ground on the 140-km-long El Indio belt. The discovery at Alturas is the result of a methodical re-evaluation of the belt by the company’s exploration team.

Drilling at Alturas was scheduled to continue until the end of the summer season in May. With mineralization open in multiple directions, the focus going forward will be on defining the full extent of the deposit, as well as exploring for additional targets nearby. Barrick expects to report an initial Alturas resource at the end of 2015.

Barrick also reported that approximately 85% of its 2015 exploration budget of $220 million to $260 million is allocated to the Americas, with about half of that spending directed to Nevada. (